This is what you are not going to find in any book or online maybe…The locals opinions, memories and feelings towards these celebrations. So here following I have interviewed some friends of mine and asked them what they like about this month, the meaning it has for them. These are the first answers I have received:
Antonella, a Lucca tour guide and owner manager of the B&B Casa San Jacopo inside the walls: “I have lived here since 1991, what I like about Settembre Lucchese is the festival atmosphere you can breathe for the entire month. It is a mix of Holy and Profane, which reflects a lot the city identity, in my opinion.
The smell of the Frati in the air (doughnut) is typical and I always associate it with this month. I like that Summer extends a lit bit longer with markets, fairs and the entertainment park. Finally the waiting for the Luminara procession, even more than the Luminara itself, that I find a bit too serious…”
Elena, another colleague, I asked her opinion as she is from the contado, the countryside around Lucca:” “Settembre Lucchese means: the procession and it reminds me the childhood and my parents.
All the attention is focused on the city, but the contado plays its role as it take part with all the music street bands. What do we do in the contado? The wine harvest festival in Montecarlo: a religious procession from S.Piero in Campo church up among the streets up to the village, the concerts, the night tours at the Fortress. Then how can I not mention the fried porcini mushrooms from Garfagnana??!! Something to die for…”
Silvia, a travel blogger living on the border between Lucca and Pisa: “For us in Vecchiano, September is officially and traditionally the month of the Lucca fairs. My grand parents had a sewing goods store and my grandfather used to go to the city to buy new things. My mum remembers him coming back home with loads of sweets, candies and necci (chestnut pancake)!!”
Dee Schaffer, from Escada, has been living in Lucca for four years now and she has lived the atmosphere of these September days: “The part that I love the most is during the procession when there are people from other parts of the world, sometimes only one person, walking behind their banners. It always make me cry a bit. It truly shows Lucchese nel mondo. I also enjoy that the Baluardo San Paolino is opened and they demonstrate the cross bows and long bows.”
Giacomo Mazzoni, seo specialist and blogger says: “When I was a child, my parents used to take me to the September Lucchese market and fair and I remember all these tractors, the Giannotti district full of people, the entertainment park but most of all, the fireworks on Santa Croce night. What do I like about it? The doughnuts or better the frati with chocolate! What does it mean? It means that in Lucca is a lively city even through its traditions. Do I do anything special? Not really, I love to live Lucca as if everyday, all the year is Settembre Lucchese!! What would I suggest to a tourist? The procession, the Mottetone, the fireworks and the long night of Santa Croce”.
Cathedral of San Martino, Lucca, Italy. Photo Credits Holly Hayes – Flickr
Lighting candles Photo Credits Stefan Z. Flickr
Fireworks Photo Credits David Munro Flickr